Work starts on new £12m health centre at Wester Hailes

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has marked the beginning of construction at a new £12m health centre in Edinburgh.

The new Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre is the first of a series of community health projects planned by the Scottish government.

The “hub initiative” scheme brings together public bodies with the aim of improving value for money.

It is hoped that the centre, a one-stop shop for health and social care services, will be completed in 2013.

Councillor Paul Edie, Edinburgh City Council’s health and social care convener, said: “Having all these facilities in one location can only be of benefit to everyone in the community, and the new site will transform a derelict part of the neighbourhood.”

Ms Sturgeon said she was “delighted” to mark the start of work on the site.

“The public purse is under huge financial strain which is why we need creative, innovative and collaborative approaches such as the hub initiative to deliver maximum value for taxpayers’ money,” she said.

Another 20 projects are being considered across the country as part of a £200m investment through the hub scheme.